Jacob Charles Wilson

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✓✓ Read Receipts: Sea, marsh, edgelands

A photograph of a large concrete sound reflector on the southern coast.
Joe Pettet-Smith

Earlier this week I was talking with my uncle about travelling beyond cities. He lives in London and used to work as a travel writer but made the move further into the suburbs after starting a family. Now the furthest travelling he makes is to the seaside. I was telling him a number of people my age are considering escaping London for the coast—Hastings, Margate, Southend, Whitstable, Falmouth. I don't blame them, I probably would if I could. Perhaps the sense of escape is because the boundless sea is the closest we have in Britain to the horizon of the desert. But, just like entering the desert, moving to the seaside would never truly offer an escape. It would only do so if the rural and coastal areas lacked culture and politics, which the past few years have shown they evidently do not. What different ways can we understand the relation of the coast to the interior?